22 April 2008

An Interview with Doogal* (My Lil' Sis)

As you may recall, my sister made her first (and perhaps last) trip to the Motherland in March.
Tips for my Lil' Sis
We got our beauty on
We ate some chicken

My sister is often quite blunt, so I thought it'd be interesting to hear what she thought about the Motherland. I should warn you that my sister's comments may sound rather judgmental. I disagree with a number of her statements, but I understand where she's coming from.

Her trip to Korea was marred by bad weather, a recent aversion to pork, motion sickness, and my work schedule. My sister's trip was especially affected by a terrible encounter with a woman in the Namdaemun market.

First of all, shopping in an outdoor market on a rainy day is a BAD idea. It was pouring, and my sister's umbrella accidentally dripped a bit of rain water onto a woman's table of merchandise. She promptly pushed my sister and scolded her in Korean. Now, if you've met my sister you know that homie don't play that. Of course, my sister immediately said "Excuse me" and started waving her finger in the air. On top of that, when the ajumma pushed my sister, she fell into another vendor's table. This ajusshi then pushed my sister away from his merchandise. I thought all of this was going to escalate into a brawl, so I quickly ushered my sister away and tried to blame the whole incident on cultural misunderstandings. Of course, shortly after my speech on behalf of these irate vendors, another ajusshi nearly doused me in rain water as I walked by his stall.

I'm continually meeting friendly Koreans, but I have to say that the ajummas and (middle-aged, married folk) can be quite off-putting. I know that given all that they've gone through (war, economic hard times, etc) ajummas and ajusshis feel a sense of entitlement or perhaps a constant need to protect themselves, but is it really necessary to push down a wide-eyed foreigner just to get yourself a seat on the train?

Anyway, check out my interview with Doogal below. (My comments are in purple).

1) What was your first impression of the Motherland?

It was a bit intimidating considering the only time I've seen lights like the one by your house was in Vegas. Korea is very dirty and the people suck (Gross generalization!) But the transportation system is convenient (True.)

2) What were the highlights of your trip?
Shopping and more shopping! Not really the food! I had fun walking around with cyndi for our history tour. Oh yeah and I like taking sticky pics. I've been telling my friend about selca ("Self-camera" photos). Hahaha.

3) What aspects of the Motherland were hard for you to adjust to?
The people and the food.

4) What are your recommendations for first-time visitors to Seoul?
Tourist stuff the first two days and then do all the shopping and eating.

5) Was it hard for you to enjoy Korea given your limited Korean?
Yeah I think a week was perfect the only bad part was that u had to work but I think I did as much as I wanted to do (Dude, you didn't answer the question. I guess I'll answer for you. Yes, it can be challenging to get around if you don't know a little Korean).

6) How did it feel to be in the Motherland?
It wasn't at all what I expected. I don't know. When I saw the commercial on tv, [Korea looked] country (I think she means "rural") but when I got there I didn't really like it. I guess I'm really not as much of a city girl as I thought (Ditto. Forgive us, Motherland. We are simple island girls).

7) What surprised you about the Motherland?
The people and the culture; how dirty everything is since [in the Homeland] Koreans bitch about how dirty stuff is, but hey Korea looks pretty crappy and smells like crap too (That's pretty harsh. Obviously, I did a pretty bad job of showing you around the city. Note to random strangers who read this blog: I will agree that some, ok, many of the streets in Seoul are pretty dirty, but there's much more to the country. Your perspective of the country is limited when you only travel by subway.)

8) Would you ever return to the Motherland?
Yeah I want to but only for the shopping not really interested in anything else.


You can check out the video for some photos from the trip. The photos are a bit sparse, because you forget to take photos when you're immersed in shopping :)

*My sister does not like her alias, so I will hereby refer to my dongsaeng as Doogal (except for the video; It's too much work to change the name in the video). Jeez, neither Cyndi nor Heng were ever this demanding.

1 comment:

Cyndi said...

아이스크림 주세요
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눈을 감아요 행복을 느껴봐요
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입맞추고픈 영원한 나의 사랑아 ~
달콤한 나의 사랑아 ~